• Short Summary

    Monday (June 5) is the fifth anniversary of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. To mark the?

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    Monday (June 5) is the fifth anniversary of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. To mark the occasion the Egyptian government took journalists on a tour of the Egyptian side of the Suez Canal, which was been closed since the start of that conflict. Much evidence still remains of the bombardment the Egyptian West Bank suffered from Israeli artillery.

    In 1967 the long-standing tension in the Middle East erupted on June 5 in the outbreak of war between Israel and the Arab States, each side accusing the other of responsibility for the commencement of hostilities. There had been increasing tension on Israel's frontiers since the Autumn of 1966 due to the stepping-up of attacks by Arab terrorist organisations.

    Among major developments in the Middle East in the three weeks before the outbreak of hostilities were the withdrawal of the U.N. Emergency Force from the Egyptian-Israeli border at the request of the United Arab Republic; an Egyptian blockade of the straits of Tiran at the mouth of the Gulf of Aqaba, denying Israeli shipping access to its only port on the Red Sea; and the conclusion of a pact between Jordan and the U.A.R.

    The Egyptians are making a reevaluation of why the Arabs lost the conflict five years ago. And, an affirmation that a victory for the Arabs can be won.

    SYNOPSIS: The 1967 Arab-Israeli war has its fifth anniversary on Monday, and the Suez Canal has been closed since then. Israeli troops now control the East Bank of the canal. Egyptian fortifications stand alongside buildings damaged by Israeli artillery fire.

    Across the canal Israeli observation posts keep track of all movements on the West Bank.

    The Egyptian government took newsmen on a tour of Port Tewfik and Suez City along the canal to view the canal after five years of being closed. Much of the buildings and commercial facilities damaged during the 1967 conflict still remain. The canal area has been a no-man's land for civilians, with only the troops of both sides staring at each other across the water.

    The Suez Canal was heavy with shipping before the closing. All that remains now are the ships caught in the canal by the war, and those local craft left on the bank. While the visible evidence of war has not been removed, actual fighting between the two sides is rare. But, the tensions that were present before the 1967 conflict still remain.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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